The Heart of Outrage (“Le Cœur à l'outrage”), by Kaddour Hadadi
The novel The Heart of Outrage by Hadadi Kaddour, written in the wake of the November 13th 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, presents a beautiful premise: A united France represented by the Franco-Tunisian couple Mohammed and Elsa.
A singer and author
Hadadi Kaddour (aka HK) is a French singer and author, born in Roubaix and the son of Algerian immigrants. Beginning in 2005, he became well known as part of the group Ministry of Popular Affairs (MAP), with the albums Debout là-d'dans and Les Bronzés font du Ch'ti.
In 2009, he formed the group HK & les Saltimbanks. Their song “On lâche rien” was played at protests and featured in the film Blue is the Warmest Color (“La Vie d'Adèle”) by Abdellatif Kechiche.
In 2017, Kaddour Hadadi released the solo album L'Empire de papier. He has also published three novels: I write therefore I am (“J'écris donc j'existe”) (2012), Néapolis (2014) and The Heart of Outrage (2017).
Make Love, Not Violence
In The Heart of Outrage, Elsa and Mohammed meet on a university campus in Paris and a romance is born. As the revolution erupts in Tunisia, Mohammed decides to return there with Elsa by his side. The relationship grows in the midst of the crowds struggling for their human rights.
Soon after, France is the victim of terrorist attacks, as is Tunisia. Faced with these events, the couple can fall apart or come together, and they choose the latter.
With this novel, Kaddour Hadadi delivers a glorious call for us to live and dance together. An ode to love that transcends difference.
A social warrior
Following the November 13 attacks, Hadadi Kaddour wrote the song Ce soir nous irons au bal. Still shocked and saddened by the events, his novel The Heart of Outrage was written as a continuation of this song.
While he deplores the state of emergency and the way in which the attacks are used to divide the nation, the singer and writer uses his pen to gather people together. The history of Elsa and Mohammed is a symbol of this France which resists through celebration and presents a united front against violence.
The Tunisian Revolution
Kaddour Hadadi paints a powerful picture of the Tunisian people during the 2010-2011 revolution, a youth rising up against unemployment, corruption and police repression, adopting non-violence and pacifism and emerging victorious with the ousting of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who had been in power since 1987.
The author describes post-terrorist-attack Tunisia, having visited it a week after the Bardot Museum attack in March 2015 when he was able see the prevailing atmosphere for himself. This was a trip he made as part of a Stendhal residency.
Selected for the Institut français Stendhal Hors les murs programme, Kaddour Hadadi was in Tunisia in October-November 2016.
The Stendhal Residency programme allows French authors or authors living in France to travel to a foreign country and work on a writing project related to that country.